Kate Chopin 's The Yellow Wallpaper

Kate Chopin 's The Yellow Wallpaper

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During the 1890’s married women had little to no freedom or rights, the men controlled
the life of the women, therefore marriage was often viewed as imprisonment and a burden. The
chains of marriage would change women’s perception of reality, causing women to often
question their importance in this male driven world. Kate Chopin’s Story of an Hour and
Charlotte Perkins­Stenson’s The Yellow Wallpaper captures the views of these oppressed
women very efficiently by using devices such as symbolism, imagery and irony, both tales
center around one woman and her fall from reality and life due to the shackles of marriage.
Both authors used symbolism to reflect their point of views on marriage, in The Story of
an Hour, Chopin states that Mallard suffered from heart trouble “Knowing that Mrs. Mallard was
afflicted with a heart trouble, great care was taken to break to her as gently as possible the
news of her husband 's death.”,meaning her poor heart could not handle being caged and
desired to be free. Mallard suffered immensely throughout the story as did the narrator in The
Yellow Wallpaper, the narrator was also diagnosed with an illness.”I sometimes fancy that in my
condition
if I had less opposition and more . society and stimulus ­ but John says the very worst thing
I can do is to think about my condition, and I confess it always makes me feel bad.”. Most likely
considered a mental illness, however her being a married woman forced to stay at home and
listen to the every whim of her husband caused this illness to appear. Both illnesses were
caused by being in a one sided marriage, both women’s minds and perception of reality were
changed due to marriage and oppression, they could not think or act for themselves.
The use of imagery in b...


... middle of paper ...


...s that both protagonists must pay a price for their freedoms.
Both stories revolve around the theme of confinement and oppression in marriage, and
both share a common event. Protagonists must both pay a very high price to achieve true
freedom and escape the shackles of marriage. The devices use help to highlight the true
despair in the women’s hearts, Mallard had heart trouble and the narrator of TYW was labeled
with an illness and was bedridden, these labels placed on them foreshadowed the tragic but
necessary event that would follow each woman. The event that would allow them to achieve a
dream that seem too far out of their grasp, true and pure freedom from the confines and chains
of marriage placed on them by society.”When she abandoned herself a little whispered word
escaped her slightly parted lips. She said it over and over under her breath: "free, free, free!”

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